Seventy-one percent of the Earth is covered by water. Some of us take living in close proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, the St John’s or even a pond for granted, but water has had a profound history and impact on the business landscape of Volusia County.
In this salute to our waterways we amble in many directions, but I came away with gratitude for the entrepreneurial spirit who are in tune with our resources and are leaving this place better for their hard work. Bob Dougherty has had success in the boat building industry and has taken Boston Whaler to second in the nation. With 1,600 employees, Boston Whaler and Everglades Boats businesses are major drivers of jobs and education. I believe he did this with the culture he created, the history our little part of Florida has with boat building and good old hard work.
I consider Al Perkinson, CEO of Bajio, a pirate of sorts. After Costa Del Mar was stripped from its headquarters in Volusia County, Al looked in the wreckage and saw opportunity. Not only did he launch his sunglasses company with former Costa employees, he also improved the product, stayed with its roots on the water and has added taking care of our environment to form a brand new brand and company we should all be proud of!
Have you ever wondered when your avocation could become your vocation? Well, Dennis David took his family’s love of kayaking and oysters to a new level by creating two oyster farms right here in the waters of Volusia County, making sure restaurants are supplied with the freshest harvest and committing to replenishing the supply for all.
Finally…talk about taking for granted a group of people. Let’s hear it for Volusia County Beach Safety. Chief Andy Ethridge, who was raised on the beach, makes sure, with his team, that we are as safe as we can be when we are enjoying mother ocean. His department’s plans are big…to become the premier spot in the country for beach safety training.
Overall, as the kid who had to be bribed with French toast to go to swimming lessons when I was young and grew up in the Midwest, I have come to appreciate all our waterways provide us, and I hope this issue does the same for you.
See you at the bend in the river,